Special primary and general election dates have been set so that voters can select a replacement for former state Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville, who resigned his seat last month after being tapped to chair the state Republican Party.
Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday issued a “writ of election” directing election officials in Knox County to hold a primary election Aug. 12 and a general election Sept. 29 for the Tennessee Legislature’s House District 14 slot.
There are 99 members in the lower chamber of the General Assembly. Minus Haynes, Republicans still hold 72 seats to the Democrats 26, which constitutes a comfortable supermajority for the GOP caucus.
At first glance, Democrats don’t look to have good odds of flipping the seat their way.
Haynes won reelection three times after first snagging the seat in 2008. Only once did he even face competition. In 2012 Haynes captured 75 percent of the district’s vote against Democratic challenger Jerome Miller.
The Knox County Administrator of Elections is currently issuing qualifying petitions, according to the secretary of state’s office. The deadline for filing is July 2. Early voting for the primary election will begin on July 23 and run through August 7.